On April 21, 2015, ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) held the annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. to recognize the preeminent engineering achievements that occurred throughout the world in 2014. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) was honored in the Transportation-Highways category with the 2015 FICE (Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers) Engineering Excellence Award for the I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector project in downtown Tampa. District Seven’s Allan Urbonas, who served as project manager for the Connector, was on-hand to accept the distinguished award on behalf of FDOT.
And if that wasn’t enough, the project and its significance were also recognized by U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R, FL-13) in a letter to the project manager.
“Prior to the I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector, Ybor City residents had been impacted by thousands of trucks from the Port of Tampa driving past their homes and businesses every day,” Congressman Jolly wrote. “Truck drivers lost valuable shipping time at stoplights and railroads while their fuel costs rose, and commuters became mired in crosstown traffic jams that tested our residents’ patience. However, thanks to your dedication and expertise, a transportation corridor that existed only on paper for decades has become a reality and is making a difference for countless businesses and families.”
The $400 million project was completed in January 2014 and features a highly complex design as well as many unique design aspects, including a four-level directional interchange connecting I-4 to the Selmon Expressway, a unique self-contained open road tolling signature gantry and exclusive truck ramps into Port Tampa Bay that diverts nearly 10,000 trucks a day away from historic Ybor City. There was even a “Run the Connector 5k” event and ribbon-cutting ceremony held in December 2013 just prior to completion to celebrate the opening of the project.